Past Present Future is a new weekly podcast with David Runciman, host and creator of Talking Politics, exploring the history of ideas from politics to philosoph...
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History of Ideas: David Foster Wallace
This week’s episode in our series on the great political essays is about David Foster Wallace’s ‘Up, Simba!’, which describes his experiences following the doomed campaign of John McCain for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000. Wallace believed that McCain’s distinctive political style revealed some hard truths about American democracy. Was he right? What did he miss? And how do those truths look now in the age of Trump?More on David Foster Wallace from the LRB:Jenny Turner on Wallace and his moment‘The risk Wallace takes is to guess he is not the only "obscenely well-educated", curiously lost and empty white boy out there; that his sadness is also the experience of a whole historical moment.’Patricia Lockwood on Wallace and his influence‘It was the essayists who were left to cope with his almost radioactive influence. He produced a great deal of excellent writing, the majority of it not his own.’Dale Peck’s notorious takedown of Infinite Jest‘If nothing else, the success of Infinite Jest is proof that the Great American Hype machine can still work wonders.’ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Animal Farm and Other Allegories
This week David talks to novelists Adam Biles and John Lanchester about the timeless appeal of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Why has it retained its hold far longer than other political allegories? Do readers need to know about the Russian history it describes? What makes the animals so relatable? Plus we discuss other favourite political allegories, from The Wizard of Oz to WALL-E.Adam Biles’s new novel – inspired by Animal Farm – is Beasts of England, available now.Read John Lanchester in the current issue of the LRB. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The Other 9/11: Chile & Allende
This week is the fiftieth anniversary of the coup in Chile that ended the life of Salvador Allende and marked the temporary death of Chilean democracy. We talk to the politician and economist Andrés Velasco and the writer and translator Lorna Scott Fox about their memories of the coup and their understanding of its significance today. What does it say about the unfulfilled promise and ongoing fragility of democratic politics, in Chile and beyond?More from the LRB:Lorna Scott Fox on the feminisation of Chile:‘I doubt any of the men in a cabinet meeting are worrying about whether there is loo paper at home, as I do.’Greg Grandin on Allende in power:‘Allende was a pacifist, a democrat and a socialist by conviction not convenience.’Michael Wood on Neruda and death:‘The dead are never entirely dead in Neruda’s poems, forgetting and remembering are always entangled.’ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week Lea Ypi joins David to talk about some of the ideas in his new book, The Handover: How We Gave Control of Our Lives to Corporations, States and AIs. They discuss how to think about the power of the state in the modern world: Can it be changed? Can it be controlled? Can it be anything other than capitalist? Plus, how will AI alter the relationship between human beings and the corporate machines that rule our world?To order the Handover and support independent bookshops, please use the code HANDOVER at checkout here. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The Great Essays: Q & A
In this bonus episode David answers some of your questions about our series on the great political essays and essayists, from Montaigne to Joan Didion. Can great political thinkers also be committed members of political parties? Which of these writers would make a good prime minister? And where are the great essays being written today? With PPF producer Ben Walker posing the questions. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Past Present Future is a new weekly podcast with David Runciman, host and creator of Talking Politics, exploring the history of ideas from politics to philosophy, culture to technology. David talks to historians, novelists, scientists and many others about where the most interesting ideas come from, what they mean, and why they matter.Ideas from the past, questions about the present, shaping the future. Brought to you in partnership with the London Review of Books.New episodes every Thursday. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.